FDA Lawyer Collaborated with Drug Firms-Lawmaker
Tue Jul 13, 5:46 PM ET
By Susan Heavey
Source: Yahoo News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites)'s top lawyer has inappropriately intervened in a number of civil lawsuits on behalf of drug and medical device makers, a U.S. lawmaker charged on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat, said the agency's chief counsel, Daniel Troy, filed friend-of-the-court briefs for drug companies in at least four cases where they were defendants, including one on behalf of his former client Pfizer .

Troy also met with pharmaceutical industry lawyers and representatives before filing the briefs, said Hinchey, a member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees the agency.

Instead of protecting the public, Troy was "making it the agency's mission to protect the drug companies from being held accountable when their products do serious harm," said Hinchey.

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Taking supplements could heal skin wounds faster-study :
Washington, July 11 (ANI)
Source: 123bharath.com

A new study, published in this month's issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has suggested that taking several antioxidant nutrients after any kind of a skin wound could make the wound heal 20 percent faster.

According to Webmd, the study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas revealed that the total amount of money saved by cutting down on healing time as well as in medicine cost, for people who have undergone facelifts and plastic surgeries, would amount to billions.

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Scientists horrified by Bush's Bad Science
By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Monday 12th July 2004 17:21 GMT
Source: The Register

What started as a group of 62 scientists fighting what they saw as Bad Science being practiced by the Bush administration has now bloated to a body with more than 4,000 whitecoats calling for change.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in a new report, has again expressed its feeling of "embarrassment and disgust" over the way the Bush administration uses - or misuses - science when making policy decisions. The scientists have found that the administration often ignores the recommendations of advisory panels and "suppresses, distorts and manipulates" scientific work. In particular, the group is concerned about Bad Science affecting environment, emergency contraception and endangered species policies .

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Mother may sue over triple jab
Jul 10 2004
Source: Birmingham Post

A mother is considering legal action after her three-year-old son was given an MMR jab without her approval.

Sheila Webster, who paid to have single vaccinations for her son Michael Whitfield because of the controversy surrounding the MMR, was horrified when told he had been given the jab at Kidsgrove Medical Centre, Staffordshire.

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Immunisation plan under fire
12 July 2004
By JAMES HEFFIELD
Source: New Zeland - Stuff National News

The decision to launch a mass meningococcal disease immunisation programme has been met with scepticism by the Immunisation Awareness Society of New Zealand, which has called for more information to be made available to the public.

Society spokesperson Sue Claridge said the lack of material in the public domain about the vaccine was a serious worry.

"No vaccination is 100 per cent safe," she said.

"Parents, by law, should be told about what's in vaccines, because sometimes they contain things which kids are allergic to."

Her organisation had been forced to use the Official Information Act to obtain information about the vaccine's ingredients, she said.

"All the Ministry of Health would tell us was that it was safe."

Ms Claridge said the number of people affected by meningicoccal disease was minuscule, and though it could be extremely serious there were ways for parents to protect their children other than getting a vaccination.

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Child vaccines less popular in county than elsewhere
By SHANNA McCORD
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ — At age 2, Morgan Sawyer has never had a single shot of medicine.

Before he was born, Morgan’s parents Scott and Debra Sawyer poured through dozens of books and attended conferences that led them to believe injecting their son’s blood with vaccinations posed more risks than benefits and that Morgan would be better off without.

"I can’t believe in my heart that a vaccine is going to make an infant healthier," said Scott Sawyer, a Santa Cruz chiropractor. "I firmly believe that we were all given an opportunity when we were born to start out perfect. With vaccines, they’re saying that we’re not born perfectly."

The Sawyer’s opposition to having their son immunized represents the small but significant portion of the local population that makes Santa Cruz County one of the highest in the state for "personal belief exemptions" from vaccinations.

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Human tests for HIV weapon
By Paula Beauchamp
July 12, 2004
Source: The Australian News

A MELBOURNE scientist's discovery that lemon juice kills the AIDS virus in the lab will be tested on humans in Thailand.

The Thai Government will fund the trial, which will involve at least 400 Thai men and women.

University of Melbourne's Professor Roger Short made the discovery after he realised acids killed the virus.

When he put lemon juice in a test tube with HIV-positive sperm, the sperm were permanently immobilised within 30 seconds.

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Court deals setback to fluoride fighters

Watsonville told anti-fluoride law won’t hold water
By DONNA JONES
Sentinel staff writer

WATSONVILLE — In what was widely seen as a test case, a judge ruled Tuesday that state law trumps an anti-fluoridation ordinance passed by city voters in 2002.

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Robert Atack’s ruling clears the way for the chemical to be added to the city’s drinking water, though legal hurdles may still arise to stall or stop implementation.

"The handwriting is on the wall," said Christopher Krueger, deputy state attorney general. "It has vast implications for other cities that might try these types of ordinances. It’s not going to work."

Fluoride backers, who contend the chemical helps prevent tooth decay, hailed the decision.

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No Child Left Un-medicated?
Vol. 20, No. 14
July 12, 2004
Source: The New American

"A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George W. Bush in July," reported the British Medical Journal on June 19. The administration’s "New Freedom Initiative" envisions "comprehensive mental health screening for ‘consumers of all ages,’ including preschool children."

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Pills not best remedy for depression
Monday, July 12, 2004
ELEANOR GODWIN
GUEST COLUMNIST
Source: Seattlepi.com

In 2000, 38 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written worldwide. Usage continues to skyrocket. Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, comprise the third most prescribed class of medication, major depressive disorder is still the second greatest cause of disability in developed countries.

Because such a large proportion of mankind is taking SSRIs, we should be asking many questions about them. A study in Iceland found that psychiatric hospitalizations increased by 4 percent and suicide trends were unchanged, despite 16 percent annual increases in SSRI usage for a 12-year period. The New York state attorney general is suing the manufacturer of Paxil for withholding evidence of increased suicidal behavior in children.

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